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Middlesex vs Northants

Rain and Klusener deny Middlesex

Veteran South African undefeated after defiant 94

Klusener: undefeated on 94

LV County Championship - Division Two
Middlesex 340 (D J Malan 132 no, E J G Morgan 66, B J M Scott 50, J J van der Wath 5-68) & 401 (B J M Scott 164 no, E J G Morgan 93, J J van der Wath 7-60) v Northamptonshire 377 (R A White 127, S D Peters 56) & 176-3 (L Klusener 94 no)
Middlesex (10pts) drew with Northamptonshire (11pts)

Afternoon showers helped wreck Middlesex hopes of a third successive win against Northants at Uxbridge.

The promotion-chasing hosts were in a good position after Ben Scott had scored an unbeaten career-best 164 to help set Northants a target of 365.

The Middlesex bowlers were then quickly into their stride, taking three early Northants wickets with only 34 runs on the board.

But Northants rallied as David Sales (48) and Lance Klusener shared a fourth-wicket stand of 143.

Klusener was undefeated on 94 from 93 balls when, with neither side having any chance of victory after 32 overs were lost to rain in the day, play ended at 5pm with the visitors on 176-3.

Earlier, South African Johannes Van der Wath finished with figures of 7-60 to return match figures of 12-128, as Middlesex moved their second innings from 377-8 overnight to 401 all out.

Day Three

A career best knock from Ben Scott means Middlesex head into the final day of their clash with Northamptonshire with a healthy lead of 340.

The wicketkeeper-batsman reached the close on 141 not out, rescuing his side from 98-5 to help them get up to 377-8 in their second innings.

Eoin Morgan just missed out on a maiden LV County Championship century for Middlesex, the Irishman falling in the penultimate over before tea for 93.

However, his 128-run stand with Scott for the seventh wicket had helped put the hosts in a much better position after the top order had been demolished by Johann van der Wath, who laimed the first five wickets to fall.

Scott then put on 73 in quick time with Tim Murtagh before running out his partner out for 33 when looking to come back for a second run that was never on.

South African seamer van der Wath followed up his 5-68 in the first innings by skittling through Middlesex's top order, Owais Shah one of his victims for just 12.

Skipper Ed Joyce and Morgan steadied the ship with a vital fifth-wicket stand of 63 before Joyce was dismissed for 38 just after lunch.

Day Two

Rob White hit a fine century for Northants but his good work was largely undone by a middle-order collapse after tea against Middlesex at Uxbridge.

But on a rollercoaster of a day, the hosts threatened to throw their advantage away in the last few overs as they slipped to 4-2 in their second innings.

The home side bowled Northamptonshire out for 377, after finishing their first innings on 340, but found batting out three overs a tricky task.

White's 127 came from just 103 balls, including 19 fours and two sixes, but with Northamptonshire on 248 for two he was caught by home captain Ed Joyce off Shaun Udal's delivery.

Middlesex's performance in taking seven wickets after tea got them back from the brink in this game.

But Middlesex were rocked when England batsman Andrew Strauss was dismissed for just four when he edged Johannes Van Der Wath to wicketkeeper O'Brien.

Then nightwatchman Steven Finn was out lbw to the same bowler with the last ball of the day.

Middlesex had started the day on 317 for seven, and the visitors had them all out for just 23 more runs within 40 minutes of play.

Udal was the first victim, trapped lbw by Lucas, with Finn suffering the same fate after adding just five runs.

And when Danny Evans was caught behind off Van Der Wath to give the bowler figures of 5-68, yesterday's star performer Dawid Malan was left on an unbeaten 132.

Day One

Dawid Malan's maiden first-class century helped Middlesex recover from a shocking start to their Division Two match against Northants at Uxbridge as they recovered from 36-4 to reach 317-7 at the end of the first day.

20-year-old Malan made a fine 121 not out while Eoin Morgan added 66 and wicketkeeper Ben Scott 50 as Middlesex piled on the runs after a shocking start saw four wickets tumble early on.

Johannes van der Wath was the main man for the visitors as he got rid of England stars Andrew Strauss and Owais Shah for two and one respectively to leave Middlesex languishing on eight for two.

After winning the toss and trying to make first use of the wicket, Middlesex then lost further ground as Wath also got rid of Billy Godleman for four and the score was 15-3.

When Ed Joyce went for 21 Middlesex were in deep trouble on 36-4 but Malan and Morgan added 121 for the fifth wicket to rescue the situation, before Malan then added another 115 with Scott.

Malan was still there on the end on 121 as Middlesex closed on 317-7 at stumps and in a superb position considering the extent of their poor start.

Match Details

29th Jun 2008
B Dudleston and D J Millns

northants BATTING CARD

Batsman R
White lbw b Finn 17
O'Brien lbw b Murtagh 12
Boje c Shah b Murtagh 4
Sales not out 42
Klusener not out 94
Extras 2nb, 5lb 7
Total 37.0 Overs 176 - 3
Full Batting Card

middlesex BOWLING CARD

Bowler O M R W
Murtagh 10 1 50 2
Finn 10 2 41 1
Udal 9 1 32 0
Evans 7 1 41 0
Malan 1 0 7 0
Full Bowling Card